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About NataliaMusk

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  1. Ir your DS is interested in Star Wars like mine is, these adaptations are pretty good: Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy Graphic Novel and Star Wars: Original Trilogy Graphic Novel.
  2. Great courses have good literature resources that serve as starting points like Heroes and Legends: The Most Influential Characters of Literature, Iliad and Odyssey, and even some more specific like How Great Science Fiction Works or my personal favorite Shakespeare: The Word and the Action. The students can listen to the lectures and from there you can explore the titles and choose what to read.
  3. I particularly love Shakespeare: The Word and the Action. The teacher is accompanied by two Shakespearean actors, great to bring his works to life and encourage the ones not so passionate about classic literature. I imagine it would be a good introduction for an advanced student.
  4. I don't have much experience with online resources as far as videos go, but if audiobooks count our whole family loved both Pharaohs and Queens of Ancient Egypt and Egyptian Treasures: Mummies and Myths both told by Jim Weiss. Hopefully someone has some actual online resources ideas.
  5. My seven year old is first of all VERY inquisitive. He is the type of kid who will ask "why" to everything, wants to know how everything works and won't rest until he gets a good answer. Teaching him how to look for those answers in books and trustworthy websites has saved me a lot of headaches. Our Google home works full time answering to his endless questions too. The downside is that he will also question a lot of what we tell him to do. Because I said so does not qualify as a good enough answer. He's different than my other kids who are wild and are always running around. He doesn't like getting dirty and playing outside is not something he's very much interested in. I have to convince and sometimes bribe him to do it. We are the outdoorsy family type, but he is very much not at this point. He would much rather stay inside and play with legos and magna-blocks. He does like to swim in the indoor pool where he takes his lessons, but an outdoor pool not so much. When he's out he complains all the time that it's hot, even when it's really not. Granted, we live in Hawaii. He tells me he wishes we lived in Alaska. It's that bad. Getting him to do things he's not interested in can be really hard. He loves math and science and likes history when it's interesting to him. He loved learning about ancients and middle ages, but moving on to early modern times with the same program, he hates it. Apparently it's boring. But writing and grammar are definitely his least favorites. Not even the fun Grammar Galaxy format helps, and as much as he loves reading fiction, he hates writing it, or any other type of writing. This boy will read for hours, but only the books he chooses to read. Right now it's the Jedi Academy series. He has a Star Wars obsession I blame on his dad. I've tried to assign him books to read independently with no luck. As soon as he realised Charlotte's Web doesn't involve any super powers or epic battles, he was out. He will let me read to him as long as he gets to keep playing with his legos, and I don't mind. He will let me know how boring the story is though, several times.
  6. My kid is only seven but he was a very early reader so we ended up doing first grade work a year earlier. So now he's doing 3rd grade level work (going to 4th grade level in math) but for all purposes I still consider him in second grade. If he decides way in the future to graduate early, he'll be able to do that. If he wants to do school until he's 18, it will be fine too, he'll just have more credits. I'll just count the last 4 years as High School and call it a day I'm assuming. If he decides he wants to go to a local school now that would be a little trickier. We would have to decide to either request to formally skip grades or let him work on his age level. I hope that if he's ever to go to school he'll be old enough to make that informed decision for himself. Ideally I would like for him to move on to college or whatever else he wants to do only when he's of age, but ultimately that will be his choice. Right now he's only doing surfing/swimming as extra-curriculars, and we do that by age (he's in second grade as far as they're concerned.) Now if he were to be enrolled in a science co-op (something I'd like to do in the near future) we'll just have to enroll him in the grade level he's working at. I don't expect having him in a higher grade co-op automatically makes him formally skip a grade or anything. He'll be doing the required by state 3rd grade testing when he's 8.
  7. Audiobooks! That's the only way my 7 year old will work independently while I teach the other kids. And that's not for very long either. We use them a lot. For history he'll listen to Story of The World. We'll go over the activities together afterwards though, he wouldn't do it by himself. We use them for literature too. He'll read a regular book by himself for about 10 minutes at most before giving up and wanting attention. Now give him the iPad (locked on the app) plus an activity to do with his hands (Lego, magna-blocks, play-doh, coloring or painting...) and he'll last a lot longer. I've seen him jumping on the trampoline, playing on the playground all while listening to a book. I don't know about you, but that counts as reading in my book. As far as other subjects like math, english and science... Those require my full attention. He won't do a whole exercise sheet by himself, it's like he needs me to say "ok, next problem now!" even if he knows the content, and I make it very clear that he'll be completing the page 😁 At this point, I don't mind. I am slowly trying to teach him to keep going, but I expect it to take time.
  8. I would say that my husband is involved in the kids education, besides working the whole day. Although he can't be a part of our lessons, he always make it a point to talk to each kid about what they learned that day, but that's as far as it goes during the week, with the occasional board game if he's not exhausted. But on the weekends he'll get hands on, mostly STEM activities, since that's what he enjoys. He teaches them about programming (his field of work). Right now he and the kids are working on a LittleBits robot thing I have no idea how it works, but they all love it. They'll play math board games and somehow he makes it fun for the kids (they refuse to play those with me, can anyone relate? 😅). They'll play with the lego simple machines set and circuit kits and he'll use those to demonstrate basic physics concepts the kids are learning. He'll ocasionally take all 4 kids to a museum or the aquarium if I need time alone. He'll even do the occasional art craft, if the kids insist. Basically he'll play with the kids but they learn too, and most importantly they leave me alone for hours 😁 He is VERY opinionated when it comes to choosing curriculum and he does a lot of research, probably more than I do. But that can get really annoying since he has very high expectations of the children and often thinks that we should be doing more, even though our oldest is only 7. He wants high-achievers and a strong academic foundation and I am very much a fan of a Montessori, child-led and learning through play approach, specially with kids so young. So we have to meet in the middle.
  9. Thank you for the imput. I don't think it's about individual attention, since the twins do all their learning together. He is definitely scared of them missing some important foundation knowledge if we were to combine them. DS7 is doing 3rd grade level work. He was a very early reader and flew through Pre-K and K so he ended up starting 1st grade a year early. DS6 has first grade skills. So it's a two year gap to catch up, DH would not like that unfortunately 😞 I wouldn't have a problem teaching the year 3 science course and making it work for both of them but he's not into that at all. I might have to end up looking for a science co-op situation for the older ones when it's time to teach the twins more formally too, that's the only solution I see, hopefully something that's very hands-on, since they do really love Nancy Larson. I'll have to see if that's available in our area though.
  10. Today was filled with science, as always. We do Nancy Larson here and the kids absolutely love it. I love it too, even though it's meant to be taught 5 days a week, and that's a lot with all the other activities we have going on, and the lessons take around 45 minutes. Still, we are doing it. But unfortunately that's not the only problem. The biggest thing is that DH insists that DS6 and DS7 are taught separately on their own respective grade levels. DH is a STEM man and is big on keeping them aligned with the common core. That goes for every subject. So when I'm teaching DS7 science, I have DS6 listening to his SOTW audio book and coloring. Then we switch. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's a mess. Mind you I still have 4 year old twins running around. It would be so much easier if the boys were doing the same science and the same history, and much more enjoyable too. They could do the science experiments together and we could do a lot of fun history read alouds and the twins could tag along. But DH won't hear it. Now next year when the twins start on a more formal education, including Nancy Larson kindergarten level, I have no idea how I'm gonna teach 3 different long science classes EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I can't barely do it with 2 right now. It's overwhelming to think about it. But DH just got home and is playing legos with all 4 kids so for now, I rest.
  11. This is what we've been doing this year, so far it's working great! Math: Singapore, boy loves math and wants to do it in his free time. Been doing Singapore since Pre-k and we love it. Language Arts: Grammar Galaxy, he's been doing it since first grade, he used to love it, but recently will sometimes get frustrated with the whole story and wants to skip to the main lesson and workbook. This kid likes workbooks and is the get-it-done type. But I like the fact that it has reading comprehension integrated so I don't have to do yet another thing just for that. So I think we're sticking to it, and I hope to move on to IEW Fix it in 4th grade. We also do Ready to Write Prompts maybe once a week. He does not love to write, especially fiction, but the prompts help. I feel like I'm lacking in LA, but I don't know what I would add. Science: Nancy Larson is the highlight of DS day, ever since we started at level 0. He loves how hands-on it is, and I love how little prep work I have to do. So it's still a keeper. History: SOTW audiobook independently while I'm teaching my younger twins. Also been doing it since first grade, although I used to read it to him at first. But this is a life saver. Originally I'd let him work on a coloring book while listening to it, but recently he's been quietly playing with legos or magna-tiles while doing it. I was scared he would get distracted but so far so good, he's retaining information and is able to answer end of the chapter questions, so I'll let him do his thing. Electives: Surf lessons every Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This is his second year of surfing and he loves it. But when the weather starts to get bad we'll move on to indoor swimming classes again like we used to. I'd love to get him involved in competitive swimming at some point, I think it's important for kids to participate in organized sports. He's also working on programming this robot with his dad almost every night, but I don't know much about that, it's "their thing". As far as reading, I gave up on trying to make DS read classics or any other recommended books that he did not pick up by himself. At this point, it doesn't work. He'll gladly read what is interesting to him though, in a middle school level. He's almost finished with Percy Jackson and is reading the Jedi Academy series also. I know that at some point I'll have to push him out of his comfort zone in terms is reading, but this year is not the year lol I'm really scared of making him hate reading if I try to make him go through Charlotte's Web again, or any other book that doesn't involve super powers or an epic battle of some kind. At least he's reading, right? That's what I tell to myself. Classic literature will have to wait. He also will happily read non-fiction books related to what we're seeing in science and history when I present them to him, so that's good.
  12. I'm not there yet so I can't give you feedback based on experience. I'm still doing Story of the World with my kids. But I plan to follow up with A Story Of US (We love the audio book story format SOTW offers, so I think this will be a good fit) and then probably move on to History Odyssey. I second that Pandia Press is a publisher you should look into since they have Ancients and Middle Ages Curriculum in both middle school and high school level for you to choose from. These are secular.
  13. I'm currently doing discovery age with SOTW, so I don't have a proper spine recommendation. But we did read some extra fun books that your 5th grader might like. Explorers Who Got Lost was a huge hit with my second grader, but I think it would go well with older kids too. It reads like a story and is full of information. You can read about each specific explorer as you learn about them. The World Made New was a good resource to learn the impact the discoveries had in the world and in America. Besides that we read a lot of fun biography type books like "You wouldn't want to sail with Christopher Colombus" and the "Who was..." series
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